Personal Hygiene

  1. Always wear a clean practice uniform.

  2. Keep fingernails and toenails short.

  3. For your own safety, do not wear any jewelry.

  4. Do not chew gum.

  5. Keep long hair under control.

  6. Keep feet clean.

  7. When leaving the mat for a brief time, slip something on the feet.Dirt picked up will soil the mat.

  8. When the dressing room is at a distance from the mat, wear some sort of foot covering to the mat.

Your Hakama

Wear your hakama proudly. After class, to maintain the pleats, fold the hakama neatly and tie the strings.

Etiquette Rules

At the door, upon entering or leaving the dojo, ALWAYS bow to the dojo.

  1. Leave your attitude at the door. You are entering sacred space.

  2. Line zoris and shoes up neatly along the wall or mat.

  3. Always bow onto and off the mat bow to kamiza*. Sit in seiza* whenever possible. Do not lounge on the mat or sit with your feet facing the kamiza. Always pay attention.

  4. Please make every effort to be seated on the mat before the sensei begins class. Under no circumstances should you go onto the mat when sensei and students are bowing at the start of class.

  5. If you are late for class, sit at the back of the mat and wait for sensei to acknowledge you. Then you may bow in and begin practice.

  6. All dan ranks should sit in the front row to the far right unless they cannot sit in seiza or are injured and cannot take ukemi.

  7. Always bow to your partner before and after each technique.

  8. Take turns being Uke (attacker) and Nage (defender).

  9. If for any reason you must leave the mat during practice, either temporarily or permanently, first ask the sensei's permission. Even in case of injury, speak with the sensei first, if possible.

  10. At the start and finish of class, be sure that your gi is neat and tucked in.

  11. Wait for the sensei to leave the mat before bowing to fellow students with whom you have practiced. We form a circle at the end of practice and bow out together.

*kamiza place where picture of O Sensei is displayed
*seiza formal bowing position

Etiquette Rules for Tests

  1. You and/or your sensei will determine when you are ready to test.

  2. The sensei encourages those not testing to dress for class and sit on the mat if possible. It is particularly important for dan ranks to be on the mat.

  3. Those testing should follow these procedures:

  4. When your name is called, sit facing the kamiza with your uke on your left. Bow to O Sensei, sensei, and your partner, in that order. At the end of your test, bow to your partner, sensei, and O Sensei, in that order Before free-style, bow to ukes.

  5. After free-style, bow to ukes, sensei and O Sensei.

  6. For all grades, your uke will be selected for you.

  7. You may not test without the necessary hours (see last page of this pamphlet).

  8. In order to test, you must have a completed federation form with your instructor's signature, your signature, and your federation card number. Your USAF and dojo dues must be up to date.

Please e-mail us with any questions about NVA or this web site.
Design ©1998 Flashicon. Portions of this site written by Sensei Eugene Waddell, 5th Dan, 1911-1990.

Northern Virginia Aikikai •